Patrick McNally

Participation is Powerful

Participation is powerful. Often, children lack an opportunity to truly participate in the funeral services for their loved ones. When I was 8 and my brother 9, our father died after a few months of illness. Our mother was insightful enough to arrange for us to participate with readings during the service, and by using our artwork for the cover of the memorial folders handed out at the services.


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At a time when we all feel helpless, children feel this even more. I encourage families with children to find a way for them to participate. Placing pictures in the casket, reading a poem, carrying a flower- there are many age appropriate ways for kids to be an active part of memorial and funeral services. Children feel the same things we do, they just have a harder time communicating them. Their drawings and actions can speak for them and help them along the path of healing.